Transience Of Life

by Elysian Fields

/
  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    Transience Of Life 12" Vinyl LP with printed inner sleeve. Artwork by Michael Keum

    Includes unlimited streaming of Transience Of Life via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 5 days

      $20 USD or more 

     

  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Gatefold sleeve compact disc with cover art by Michael Keum

    Includes unlimited streaming of Transience Of Life via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 5 days

      $15 USD or more 

     

  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    Purchasable with gift card

      $10 USD  or more

     

1.
At the dawn of creation who sowed the seeds of love From a strong passion, of breeze and moonlight they came So in this world of sweet longing so in this world of sweet longing So in this world of sweet longing so in this world of sweet longing On a day of distress, in an hour of loneliness Fain would I impart my senseless grief, my senseless grief By singing this By singing this Singing this dream of red mansions To mourn the gold and the jade To mourn the gold and the jade...
2.
At the height of her honor and splendor Death comes for her Death comes open-eyed She had to leave everything behind As her gentle soul Passes away So far her home Beyond the distant mountains That in a dream She finds and tells her parents Your child has gone now To the yellow spring You must find a retreat Before it's too late As her gentle soul Passes away So far her home Beyond the distant mountains As her gentle soul Passes away Away, Away, Away, Away
3.
Vain Longing 05:02
One is an immortal flower of fairy land The other fair flawless jade And were it not predestined Why should they meet again in this existence? Yet if predestined, predestined Why does their love come to nothing? One sighs to no purpose Why does their love come to nothing? The other yearns in vain One is the moon reflected in the water The other but a flower in the mirror How many tears fall from her eyes Can they flow from autumn to winter How many tears fall from her eyes Can they flow from spring to summer Autumn to winter, spring to summer Autumn to winter, spring to summer Why does their love come to nothing? One sighs to no purpose Why does their love come to nothing? The other yearns in vain
4.
By nature Fair as an orchid With talents to match an immortal Yet so eccentric all marvel at her To her rich food stinks Silken raiment is vulgar and loathsome She knows not superiority fosters hatred For the world despises too much purity By the dim light of an old shrine She will fade away Her powder and red chamber Her youth and beauty wasted To end despite herself Defiled on the dusty road Even as flawless white jade Dropped in the mud In vain young scions of noble houses will sigh for her In vain young scions of noble houses will sigh for her
5.
Three thousand li She must sail through wind and rain Giving up her home And her own flesh and blood But afraid to distress their declining years in tears She tells her parents don't grieve for your child From of old good luck and bad Partings and reunions decreed by fate Although from now on we'll dwell far a part Let us still live at peace Don't worry about Your unworthy daughter
6.
Afraid of imperfection She tip toes Under a stranger’s roof Sick with insecurities She doesn’t dare claim a place An uninvited guest She accepts her fate I’m doomed to be inferior But I lack the gift of obedience People say I am foolish to bury These fallen flowers But who knows When the time comes Who will bury me When the time comes When the time comes The shadow of a crane Travels over frozen pond She buries the soul of her poetry Under a cold cold moon Buries the soul of her poetry Under a cold cold moon As the coughing clouds roll in, roll in Betrothed to the coughing clouds As the coughing clouds roll in, roll in Betrothed to the coughing clouds
7.
This is the common fate Of mortal man Useless it is to repine This is the common fate Of mortal man Useless It is to to repine She's still in her cradle When her parents die Although living in luxury Who will dote on her Happily she's born too courageous To take a love affair to heart Like bright moon and fresh breeze In a hall of jade She's matched with handsome husband May she live with him for long years to make up for her wretched childhood But over Gaotang Tower The clouds disperse The river Xiang runs dry This is the common fate of mortal man Useless useless it is to repine Useless of mortal man Useless it is to repine Useless
8.
Well matched all say the gold and the jade I alone recall the pledge between plant and stone Vainly facing the hermit in snow-clad hills I forget not the fairy in long woods beyond the world I sigh learning that no man's happiness is complete I sigh I sigh learning that no man's happiness is complete I sigh Even a pair thought well-matched may find disappointment Well matched all say the gold and the jade I alone recall the pledge between plant and stone Vainly facing the hermit in sparkling hills I forget not the fairy in Long Woods beyond the world I sigh learning that no man's happiness is complete I sigh I sigh learning that no man's happiness is complete I sigh
9.
A mountain wolf A Savage ruthless Beast Mindless of past obligations Gives himself up to Pride Luxury and license Holding cheap the charms of a noble families daughter Trampling on the Precious Child Of a ducal Mansion Alas, alas In less than a year Her Sweet Soul Fades away Alas, alas in less than a year Her Sweet Soul Fades away
10.
Time marches on Time stands still Time on my hands Time to kill Blood on my hands And my hands in the till Down at the seven-eleven Gentle rain Falls on me All life folds back Into the sea We contemplate eternity Beneath the vast indifference of heaven The past seems realer than the present to me now I've got memories to last me When the sky is gray The way it is today I remember the times when I was happy Same old sun Same old moon It's the same old story Same old tune They all say Someday soon My sins will all be forgiven Gentle rain Falls on me All life folds back Into the sea We contemplate eternity Beneath the vast indifference of heaven They say "Everything's all right" They say "Better days are near" They tell us "These are the good times" But they don't live around here Billy and Christie don't Bruce and Patti don't They don't live around here I had a girl Now she's gone She left town Town burned down Nothing left But the sound Of the front door closing forever Gentle rain Falls on me All life folds back Into the sea We contemplate eternity Beneath the vast indifference of heaven
11.
While foolish lovers forfeit Their lives for nothing Foolish lovers forfeit Their lives for nothing When the seed is gone The birds scatter to the wood When the seed is gone The birds scatter to the wood All that's left is emptiness And a great void Those that see through the world Escape from the world That see through the world All that's left is emptiness And a great void Those that see through the world Escape from the world That see through the world Those that see through the world Through the world From the world

about

Cáo Xuěqín’s 18th century novel, Dream of the Red Chamber, little known in the West, is a Chinese national epic, occupying a role in the literature of China roughly akin to that of Shakespeare in English. With its principal plot arc of two beautiful, sensitive and aristocratic young people whose love affair is doomed, the play it most resembles is Romeo and Juliet. Despite this resemblance, the fabric from which Dream of the Red Chamber is woven is shot through with many unfamiliar and unsettling threads. Punishment and power relations, sexuality and servitude, the supernatural and the insuperable decrees of fate speak of a milieu doubly alien. Looking in Cáo’s crystal we not only peer through the walls of strange and distant mansions, but backwards through the ages, to a China in the waning days of the Qing dynasty, still rapt in dreams of antiquity, as yet unruffled by the western winds of modernity and mercantilism soon to buffet its shores.

We were asked to set some of Cáo Xuěqín’s poems, in translation by Yang Hsien-Yi and Gladys Yang, to music. The unworldly mood and motifs of love, disillusionment, concern and grief fit perfectly with our own sensibility. The idea of the impermanence of all things has long been a central one for Elysian Fields; in the author of these ancient lines we found a kindred spirit. Another fellow traveler, cross-cultural storyteller Lu Chen, joined us to co-write a song to go alongside these poems. A final song was found surprisingly in the catalog of the late Warren Zevon, whose "Indifference Of Heaven" seemed almost to have sprung from the same pages.

credits

released September 4, 2020

Vocals: Jennifer Charles
Guitars, Bass: Oren Bloedow
Keyboards: Thomas Bartlett
Drums: Sam Levin

Violin: Dana Lyn
Piri: Gamin Kang
Background Vocals: Ella Hunt

Produced by Thomas Bartlett

Drum Recording/Mixing: Sam Levin
Additional Engineering: James Yost

Lyrics: Cáo Xuěqín
Except "An Outsider Undeserving Of Love" (Bloedow/Charles/Chen/Bartlett)
and "Indifference Of Heaven" by Warren Zevon

Cover Image by Michael Keum
Design by Ojet Studios


www.elysianmusic.com

license

all rights reserved

tags

about

Elysian Fields New York

Jennifer Charles and Oren Bloedow are the writers who make up the critically acclaimed New York band. Cult status, cosmic appeal, since 1995

contact / help

Contact Elysian Fields

Streaming and
Download help

Redeem code

Report this album or account

If you like Elysian Fields, you may also like: